Wednesday, June 24, 2009

6/24- Calvin and adultery

(picture of people making fun of Calvin and his wife).
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

6/25- Calvin and Marriage

9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Calvin: “My wife, a woman of rare qualities, died a year and a half ago, and I have now willingly chosen to lead a solitary life.” (Letter of 1550). Man has been created in this condition that he may not lead a solitary life, but may enjoy a helper joined to himself [cf. Genesis 2:18]; then by the curse of sin he has been still more subjected to this necessity. Therefore, the Lord sufficiently provided for us in this matter when he established marriage, the fellowship of which, begun on his authority, he also sanctified by his blessing. From this it is clear that any other union apart from marriage is accursed in his sight; and that the companionship of marriage has been ordained as a necessary remedy to keep us from plunging into unbridled lust. Let us not delude ourselves, then, when we hear that outside marriage man cannot cohabit with a woman without God’s curse. (III.8.43)

Calvin faced adultery twice in his family. Once in 1557 when his brother Antoine Calvin’s wife, Ann, was caught in adultery with his hunchback servant , Pierre. Second in 1562 when his stepdaughter, Judith, had an affair. Calvin himself, was married to a widow, Idelette de Bure, for about nine years of his life. Before that, he was a single man who thought he may never marry, and then after Idelette’s death, he resigned himself as a widower.
Yesterday the Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, admitted he had been in Argentina, and that he had an ongoing affair with a woman there. Sanford was obviously embarrassed by this (as he should have been). His wife, Jenny, was also embarrassed. I am embarrassed tonight for both of them Both times when Calvin’s family members had an affair, Calvin left town in embarrassment. This teaches us three lessons: 1) marriage should be held sacred. 2) we should not think that anyone is immune to horrible sins (later Calvinists called this total depravity). 3) Broken marriage affects so many. I think of the four sons who had no father on Father’s Day, and all of us who are ashamed of our state today. Sanford left town for about a week, not even telling his staff where he was going (he told them he would be on the Appalachian Trail). The state was without a leader for about a week and now maybe longer. Sanford lost any hope as a leader of the nation (he was spoken of as a possible vice presidential, or presidential candidate). Today we should pray for this family. But we should also see the devastating affects of the sin and poisoning power of adultery.

Prayer: Lord, help the fallen, and help me not to fall

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